Portraits of London

Levison Wood

At Taylor Morris we love to travel, and have had some pretty amazing journey over the years. Busy designing sunglasses leaves us little time to explore, but luckily, our friend Levison Wood took his Taylor Morris sunglasses on his latest trip with him. We caught up with the explorer to talk about his latest trek, The Arabian Journey.


Levison, where in the world are we catching you right now?

I’m in Salalah on the coast of Oman.


And where is this journey taking you?

I’m almost half way through a circumnavigation of the Arabian peninsula, taking in more than ten countries over a period of almost five months.


We’ve done some research, and you’ve travelled to over 90 countries. Any still on the bucket list?

I’ve only spent a couple of days in Canada and would love to explore it more, particularly BC, which seems to be long on stunning wilderness to discover. I’ve also never been Portugal and when I get the chance for a holiday would like to make a visit and I wouldn’t mind checking out the apparently stunning beaches of Bali.


You've just had another book published about your travels as a 22 year old hitchhiking the Silk Road. Anything you’d say to your 22 year old self having travelled quite a bit since then?

Keep going - you’re on the right track.


You’re also a keen photographer, what’s the most breath-taking shot you’ve taken?

Mundari cattle camp, South Sudan, 2014. The sun broke through the clouds in angular shafts of light at just the perfect time.


You now call London home. When you're back in town, where are the first places you go?

I love a stroll along the Thames, to see the deer at Richmond Park and maybe ending up at Petersham Nurseries for lunch. In town, I love a drink at Mr Fogg's, which is a proper step back in time and appeals to the bookish historian in me.


And when travelling, what to do always take with you? Any home comforts?

I always have a white linen shirt in my backpack. Obviously it packs up really small, and when you’re on an expedition, there invariably comes a time when you need to scrub up for a meeting, a drink or a dinner with a dignitary or minister. A shave and a shirt is all it takes to look suitably presentable.


You've walked the length of the Nile, the length of the Himalayas, but in the homeland, any favourite walks?

There was a walk that we used to do as kids in the Peak District to the top of a hill called Kinder Scout. There were these legendary wallabies that supposedly lived up there, after they'd escaped from a nearby zoo in World War Two or something, and had bred and turned feral. However hard I tried, I never spotted one.


We love to travel quite a bit ourselves. If you could recommend 5 sights to see, what would they be?

I was very impressed by the Pyramids of Giza, and the little visited and historic towers at Ingusthetia in the Caucasus. There are numerous beautiful and majestic forests in Rajasthan that I could spend days wandering around I love Angkor Wat in Cambodia - real life Indiana Jones - particularly the gnarled, twisted and beautiful trees that have grown in and around the temples, distorting and moving the architecture. I backpacked in Jordan years ago and am hoping that I'll be able to make a return visit on this trip to Petra in Jordan.